On the Fringe…Yearning for the Center of Things

Have you ever been blissfully unaware of something for so long, and then suddenly whatever-it-is becomes so obvious (our family phrase is “if it was a snake, it would have bit you”)? Then, of course, it’s all I see. And I can’t go back.

I’ve made a little self-discovery that has upset me and I’m not sure how I feel about it or what to do about it. Outside my family of 3 growing up, I lived on the fringe perpetually. I supposed I could chock it up to being an only child, or being an introvert and a book worm, or only doing individual sports instead of with teams. I look back and realize I lived a relatively solitary life–and its kind of depressing.

Most recently, I’ve noticed my growing need to be included, which is paired with the agony frustration of being left out of even simple things. Maybe it’s amplified with not getting a teaching job and my struggle with patience. And what’s worse, in times of solitude I tend to drift toward the past. Dwelling is bad, very bad for me.

A few weeks ago, I met with a friend from the past. Her family is going through a patch of refinement (that’s otherspeak for Struggle) and we had a chance to catch up. It was good time for us to tell our stories–she asked some surprisingly tough questions. Her conclusion: I was a pretty strong woman. What’s up with that? I certainly don’t feel it. In fact I see myself as weak, frail even, someone who would rather hide.

And so I struggle–with uncertainty, with those I love, with my own pride and selfishness. I worry incessantly that I’ll be like the candle burning out–one minute it burns intently, the next is a ember followed by a puff of smoke. But I will rest in the words of a song by Mercy Me– “To hear you say ‘This one’s mine,’ My heart is spoken for”. Despite all that is depraved about me, despite my frailties and my faults, somehow the great God of the universe chose me. Somehow He has a plan for me, a place for me.

So it’s days like these, when I am dreary inside, that I need a reminder that I am loved. Knowing that the deepest parts of me that are thirsting for rest and peace, will one day be quenched.


Photograph of a candle - version without refle...

Image via Wikipedia


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